It’s impossible to not hear something about COVID-19, the coronavirus that has affected nearly all of the United States and just about every corner of the world. From how to quarantine, to the symptoms to be aware of, and how much food and supplies to have on hand, the coronavirus has our attention.
The virus is affecting everyone, well-known or not. Katie Couric has decided to work from home for a while after a brief exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Katie Couric’s concern for her friend
Yesterday, Couric tweeted in response to a NY Times article about her friend, Port Authority head Rick Cotton, having been positively diagnosed with coronavirus.
The 63-year-old former Today anchor said on Twitter, “Rick Cotton is an old friend of mine. In fact I just saw him on Saturday for the first time in a long time. Feel better Rick.”
Couric couldn’t know the swirl of activity about to take place based on this one tweet, and how she would be on the phone almost immediately with every health official she could get in contact with.
Twitter’s response to Couric’s just having visited with a coronavirus patient
Couric’s followers on Twitter basically were very concerned at her calmly stating that she had been in the presence of a coronavirus patient.
Because so little is known about this virus, it’s difficult to know if simply shaking hands with someone or being with them while they coughed, is enough to call for secluding oneself.
Reactions included, “You saw ‘him on Saturday for the first time in a long time’…..through T.V. , or through a smartphone device, right Katie?”, and “Hope you are self isolating, if not you are being very irresponsible.”
For the most part, her Twitter followers wished Cotton well – and Couric to get tested and get quarantined.
The mother of two responded to her users with a series of tweets that began by saying, “THREAD: OK people – thank you for your concern!! I have a few updates: So far I’ve talked to someone from @WHO who referred me to the @HealthNYGov which told me that it was not necessary to self-quarantine. This was also confirmed by my primary care physician.”
“My interaction was a 90-second conversation with an asymptomatic person and involved no physical contact,” she continued. “I am now quadruple checking with the @CDCgov. But overall, the people I spoke to said to continue using common sense and good hygiene practices…”
In conclusion, Couric, in an effort to reassure her followers, tweeted, “..and if I start having symptoms or not feeling well I should go to my primary care doctor immediately. Hopefully, this is helpful for anyone who deals with this in the future + I will keep you guys updated as soon as I have more info!”
Couric’s decision to work from home
As a journalist, Couric has access to resources and officials that most of us do not. She spoke with a CDC official and tweeted yesterday about their response to her very short interaction with Cotton.
“Just talked to a @CDCgov official who said I’m very low risk given the duration and nature of contact. I will be working from home to be safe and make sure if I’m not feeling well I will go to the doctor. Will keep you posted.”
She didn’t indicate how long she would be working from home, but since her doctor and New York’s Department of Health told her it was not necessary to self-quarantine for the fourteen-day period, the reporter may decide to work remotely for just a few days.